STOCKS FALL MOST IN 2018 AS TREASURY YIELDS CLIMB

The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index declined by the most since September and yields on benchmark Treasuries touched the highest levels since early 2014 as traders gear up for a hectic week of data and policy announcements. The dollar strengthened against all its major rivals.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average also declined by the most in almost five months. The euro retreated as German bonds dropped for a fourth day, while the Stoxx Europe 600 Index inched lower after the MSCI Asia Pacific Index slumped earlier. Treasuries climbed from the lows of the day after data on personal income and spending.

“You’re coming off a relatively strong period, where you’ve had a really sharp move in equity markets from the beginning of the year,” Kevin Caron, a senior portfolio manager at Washington Crossing Advisors, said by phone. “The forward looking return on equities has come down marginally because of the valuation issue, and at the same time, global investors are looking at bond yields which have risen, maybe making global bonds a little more attractive. At some point you would expect to see a rotation out of one and into another.”

Janet Yellen’s final policy meeting as Federal Reserve chair will be the main focus of investor attention in what’s shaping up to be another active week for markets still finding their feet after the recent dollar selloff. There’s a string of fresh economic data due, as well as a State of the Union address from President Donald Trump and earnings releases from the world’s biggest tech companies.

The greenback advance came after it capped a seventh week of losses, while the yen weakened as the Bank of Japan downplayed Governor Haruhiko Kuroda’s comments on stronger inflation, and the British pound declined as pressure built on Prime Minister Theresa May over Brexit.

Elsewhere, U.S. oil fell, though it’s at about its strongest level in five months relative to global benchmark Brent crude as a weaker dollar and falling stockpiles boost the American marker. Metals advanced amid optimism over global growth and the impact of the softer greenback, with zinc soaring to the highest level in more than a decade.

Source: Bloomberg

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